Monday, December 13, 2010

2nd layer of wax

I'm continuing my encaustic project. (Substrate posts here and here and 1st layer of wax post here.)

I was working away last night on the back porch so I needed to don my fleece bomber hat.

I scratched, poked, and gouged into the wax, covered it with a good smear of oil stick, then wiped it off with a shop towel and the paint has stayed in the grooves. The area is then hit with a heat gun to fuse it to the wax. Tools used: scribe, roulette, wire brush.
This is what the area looks like just before fusing it with a heat gun. I have the head in place (intaglio on rice paper) ready to be fused to the wax layer below.

Before my 2nd layer of wax I added some collage elements--a little square of organza and then several hand pulled prints.

When adding collage elements, I pre-warm the wax layer below with the heat gun, being careful to only warm it, not bring it to a liquid. Then I press the collage into the wax and the wax is usually tacky enough to hold it in place. Then I reheat with the heat gun and tap the paper with a skinny wooden dowel to push the paper firmly into the wax below, which is now nice and liquidy.

After the collage element is secure, I cover the entire piece with a layer of wax (not just the collaged areas) since I want this piece to have an even surface. Encaustic collage is wonderful because it really gives the illusion of depth even though the layers are only thinly separated by wax. I was too pooped last night to fuse the wax so that's waiting for me in my studio.

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